Shelly Radic, author of The Birthday Book, brings us a new book on mothering: Momology: A Mom’s Guide to Shaping Great Kids. Radic, the mother of four children, brings us a book that is backed by more than 30 years of professional organizations research, surveys and many one on one interviews. She spins a refreshing take on how “mothering is part art, part science, and always a work in progress!” (Momology Back Cover)
The book is divided into four parts each of which cover an important aspect of parenting. The four parts are broken down into smaller sections to make reading them manageable in the hectic life of mothering. The four parts are as follows:
• CORE – knowing who we are.
• FINESSE – knowing what we are capable of.
• CIRCLE – knowing who we can count on.
• GRANDSCAPE – knowing who God is.
Each section includes a wealth of knowledge presented in the form of stories from moms just like us, survey results, research information and Radic’s own mothering experiences. And she does not just end it with that; she gives us a chance to put in our input as well. She does this through her practicum sections which she encourages us to share with other moms (friends, mentors, anyone). For those of us who are online often, we can also share our thoughts at www.mom-ology.org.
The four sections walk us down a step by step path towards great mothering. To be an effective mother we must know who we are, we must explore our CORE. Radic explains what core resilience is and then takes us into getting to know ourselves. She then helps us to reinforce our core while remembering our values. Once our core is firm we are then able to explore our finesse: intentionally knowing what we are capable of. Including looking at our time and actions and how we are using them. This must include a perspective for mothering and much patience and prayer. It has been stated, “It takes a village to raise a child”, and to this Radic seems to agree. She explains in the timeframe of one day our children and ourselves will interact with many different people who will all influence us in some way. She breaks it down into three rings and within those three rings are our acquaintances, our friends, our extended families and our immediate families. As she leads us into the Grandscape of knowing who God is she first addresses his love for us. Next she takes us into finding him in our lives then going from there into sharing him with others. While looking through these four sections we are reminded again and again that we are not alone in mothering and that others are right where we are at too.
At first glance this book looks bright and welcoming to read but that was not 100% the case. It was really refreshing to hear hers and other mother’s stories on mothering. Some of them positively reaffirmed the job I am doing. Others gave me some pointers and tips of where I could be doing better. Still others were just a light hearted laugh which is much needed in mothering. The first two sections were good reads but the last two are what stuck to me. The section on your circle and the community really gave me some good insight as my immediate family has moved five states away from our extended family. I dog-eared quite a few pages to help with my growth in this area. The most important of my growth will come from the final section on the Grandscape. Growing in my relationship with Christ is tantamount to my growth as a mother. Of all the verses she quotes, Jeremiah 31:25 stood out to me, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Many days as a mom I feel weary and faint, having her include this verse into the book gave me a way to connect with her writing. Unfortunately there were times when I had difficulty connecting. The book reads as if it were a text book. Often as I would sit down to read, I would find myself nodding off and having to read sections over and over again. I found that I would need to read the book at certain times of the day when I was most awake, alert and receptive to reading. This downside was not enough to make me set the book aside and quit reading it. Quite the opposite, I was eager to finish it and saw this as an unfortunate side affect of the sometimes clinical feel of the book. I would recommend that you give this book a try.
“Available June 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”